From the Chair

One of the things I had forgotten about living in the Upper Midwest after spending eleven years in Georgia is just how short the days are at this time of the year (due to the DttP publication schedule, I am writing the Chair’s Column for the Spring 2019 issue in January). On the winter solstice in December, Fargo had about eight and a half hours of daylight; it was dark when I went to work and dark when I went home. The good news is that after mid-December, the days start getting longer; as of this writing in mid-January, Fargo has gained almost a half an hour of daylight. By the summer solstice in June our days will be almost sixteen hours long and presumably quite a bit warmer. Definitely something to look forward to on a cold winter’s night!

By the time this column appears in DttP, the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Seattle will have come and gone; the weather there will of course include rain. Among our scheduled meetings and discussions is a one hour session dedicated to GODORT at the RT Spotlight Desk at the ALA Lounge. This is the unofficial kickoff to our membership drive, as it will allow us to talk to potential members about all of the good things we do as a round table and how they can get involved. Speaking of membership, I am happy to report that GODORT’s personal membership numbers have improved slightly; as of December we have gained eleven new members, for a grand total of 467. Progress! As we continue to spread the word about GODORT, I have every confidence that our numbers will continue to improve.

More good news: GODORT’s Emerging Leaders project proposal Librarian’s Election Reference Toolkit was selected for the 2019 class as project E. According to the project description, “emerging leaders will be asked to develop a marketing plan to ALA divisions and chapters for a prototype of a librarian to librarian toolkit to enhance election knowledge.” The Emerging Leaders working group will present the prototype to GODORT by Annual. Kudos to the Education Committee for their work in putting the proposal for such an important and timely project together.

Finally, planning is well underway for the upcoming Annual Conference in Washington, DC. GODORT is sponsoring two programs and cosponsoring a third. Our juried program Counting on Trust, Trusting the Count: Census 2020, will convene a panel of experts in Census data and the social context for the Census that will help us understand and better advocate for the continuation and extension of the existing protections that prevent the misuse of administrative data for politicized ends. Our Chair’s program, Collectively Curating Government Information and Data: The PEGI Project and the Collective Impact Model, will include a panel discussion of the work of the PEGI Project as an application of the Collective Impact model. And we are cosponsoring The Data of D.C.: Open Sources for Business Research with RUSA, which will explore open data resources in depth. All this in addition to our regular meetings, discussions, and social events, including the annual GODORT reception and awards ceremony. Stay tuned for further details as they become available.

So much to look forward to in the coming months besides warmer weather and longer days! If you were not able to join us for Midwinter in Seattle, I hope you are making plans to join us for Annual in our nation’s capital—2019 promises to be a good year for GODORT.

Hallie Pritchett (hallie.pritchett@ndsu.edu), Associate Dean of Libraries for Research and Learning, North Dakota State University.


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